The boss of India's Tata Group has conceded that the company has made mistakes with its Nano, the world's cheapest car, saying it now wanted to change the perception it was a ‘poor man's vehicle’.
The 140,000-rupee (R22 000) Nano has failed to take off as expected since its launch in 2009, with analysts blaming poor marketing and a series of technical problems including some highly publicised engine fires.
Sales have been a fraction of the 25 000 a month the company once expected, falling to a low of only 509 in November 2010. In December 2011, the company sold 7466 Nanos, a rise of 29 percent from the same month the previous year.
Chairman of the Tata conglomerate Ratan Tata explained to reporters: “I don't think we were adequately ready with an advertising campaign or a dealer network.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the Auto Expo show in New Delhi, he added: “I think we wasted an early opportunity but have not, in fact, seen much in terms of competition for the pricing of the car.”